Next stop for the local recycling project – the electronics bit. This is the bit that I at least understand and can make a reasonable fist of making. First off, I raided the boxes in the attic that are invisibly marked “put aside in the attic for twenty years because they may contain something of use one day”. Here is the haul of goodies I retrieved:
I know! How exciting is that? There’s some wire, a mains switch with cable and a metal box. There’s also some other stuff that is, take my word for it, equally exciting but not useful for this project (well, not yet, anyway). It is actually extremely gratifying to finally use odd bits and pieces that have lurked, overhead and tucked away, for so long.
The metal box is actually a plastic-coated metal box that came from an old mobile ‘phone transmitter about twenty years ago. There was going to be a network of these boxes on every other corner in cities to provide the fledgling mobile ‘phones (then still quite brick-like in shape and weight) with a signal. Needless to say, this method of providing mobile telecommunications never got off the ground, whereas the method that succeeded reached high into the landscape of every town, city and area of outstanding natural beauty.
So, on with the build. This involved cutting two large square holes on what will be the front of the box. I have never done this before so I figured that you cut as big a round ho0le as the square allows then buy a file (because you haven’t got one) to do the rest.
To a large approximation, that method worked. Just don’t look too closely.
It also worked for the hole on what will be the back of the box, for the on/off switch. Really, don’t look closely at that one at all.
After wiring up the temperature controllers, the mains supply and the switch, it was time to put the lid on and power up.
There was, thankfully, no big bang, just the welcome glow of the LEDs on the front panel. AND I didn’t receive an electric shock when I touched any of the screw heads on the back.
So, now I just have to mount and wire in the two solid state relays (they turn the heaters on and off in response to the temperature controllers’ whims) and attach some leads to take the electricity out to the heaters and I will be done.
I have an idea as to how to test the whole plastic-melting theory too – more on that later… but it involves a tin of baked beans. Now I will go back to finishing my next novel, where baked beans are extinct and there is a large superhighway running over the top of West Wales, with luminous walls and one-wheeled cars.